Shoe executive steps into top Lagunitas beer marketing role

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Petaluma-based Lagunitas Brewing Company hired a former shoe marketing executive as its new chief marketing officer.

Kelly Murnaghan was vice president of marketing for North America at Vans Shoes and before that was director of marketing for Converse shoes. She began work Monday and replaces Noelle Haley, who left in January, the company stated in the announcement Thursday.

“Through my meetings and conversations with Kelly, it’s clear that she’s a natural fit for Lagunitas," stated CEO Maria Stipp in the news release. "She will be an essential part of bringing our unique culture and vibe to new markets as we continue to expand. Her past experience with two highly successful lifestyle brands, both of which understand the value of quality and authentic consumer experience, will be invaluable to Lagunitas as she leads our global marketing team. Additionally, she has proven experience working with a founder built brand at Vans. Knowing how to carry that magic forward while scaling our marketing capabilities will be paramount.”

Founded by Tony Magee in the west Marin County community of Lagunitas in 1993, the company moved to Petaluma a year later. Heineken acquired 50% of the company in 2015 then purchased the other half in 2017. Last month, the company announced it was opening more taprooms internationally, including in Paris, Barcelona, São Paulo and London, in the next 12 months.

In October, the company cut 12% of its workforce — more than 100 people.

“It was a very difficult decision to make, but also it was needed so we could take the pressure off my shoulders and really say that’s what we needed for the first 20-some years,” Stipp told the Press Democrat. “What do we need today going forward? It allowed us for the first time to ask what is the structure, what are the jobs? What does the future look like and what do we really need?”

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